Diverse Perspectives on Healing (Part 6)

by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., program Chair at Sofia University for the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology programs.

Sequoyah Trueblood, of the Cherokee and Chocktaw traditions, express similar perspectives to what previous healers in this series have shared — the process of healing is one of letting the divine flow through you and that the distance between healer and healee is irrelevant. He also shares that pain and suffering are an important teacher for an individual and that the healer’s role is to help the individual understand and address the root cause of that pain and suffering. His message ultimately echoes the perspective that when we are in alignment with the Divine we can both be healers and be healed.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

 

Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Worldview Enterprises. She also serves as President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing, and is a board member of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders.

She produced the film Death Makes Life Possible with Deepak Chopra, and wrote a companion book of the same name, published by SoundsTrue. To see her other film credits, click here. To explore her current research projects, click here.

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Diverse Perspectives on Healing (Part 5)

by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D., program Chair at Sofia University for the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology programs.

Mitchell Krucoff, MD offers a perspective as a cardiologist who recognizes that the tools of transformation are accessible to us at all times — and in the simplest of ways. He shares a powerful story from his experience in a chaotic clinical environment and how committing to a moment of intentional pause, to a 60 second prayer, totally transformed the act of healing for him and his team.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO

 

Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Worldview Enterprises. She also serves as President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing, and is a board member of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders.

She produced the film Death Makes Life Possible with Deepak Chopra, and wrote a companion book of the same name, published by SoundsTrue. To see her other film credits, click here. To explore her current research projects, click here.

Diverse Perspectives on Healing (Part 3)

by Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D.,  Program Chair at Sofia University for the PhD in Transpersonal Psychology programs

Welcome to Part 3 of this blog series that explores the many cultural and religious perspectives on healing. Using video excerpts from two DVDs, Consciousness & Healing, and Compassionate Intention, Prayer, and Distant Healing, this series illuminates the diversity of perspectives and the common threads that unite the many distinct approaches to healing.

In the video excerpt below Nancy Maryboy, who is Navajo and Cherokee and has a doctorate in Native American cosmology, shares Native perspectives on distant healing. She tells us that while there may be spatial differences between on-site versus distant (e.g. across the country) healing, one still calls upon the same cosmic elements to perform the healing. Maryboy also shares perspectives on time and healing, especially during and after ceremonial healing gatherings.

Click here to watch video.

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screen-shot-2016-10-04-at-6-37-54-pmMarilyn Schlitz, Ph.D. is a social anthropologist, researcher, writer, and charismatic public speaker. She is currently the Founder and CEO of Worldview Enterprises. She also serves as President Emeritus and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Additionally, she is a Senior Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Center, where she focuses on health and healing, and is a board member of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

For more than three decades, Marilyn has been a leader in the field of consciousness studies. Her research and extensive publications focus on personal and social transformation, cultural pluralism, extended human capacities, and mind body medicine. She has a depth of leadership experience in government, business, and the not-for-profit sectors. Her broad and varied work has given her a unique ability to help individuals and organizations identify and develop personal and interpersonal skills and capacities needed by 21st century leaders.

She produced the film Death Makes Life Possible with Deepak Chopra, and wrote a companion book of the same name, published by SoundsTrue. To see her other film credits, click here. To explore her current research projects, click here.

Embodied Writing and Reflections on Embodiment

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By Rosemarie Anderson

Embodied writing brings the finely textured experience of the body to the art of writing. Relaying human experience from the inside out  and entwining in words our senses with the senses of the world, embodied writing affirms human life as embedded in the sensual world in which we live our lives. As a style of writing, embodied writing is itself an act of embodiment. Nature feels close and dear. Writers attune to the movements of water, earth, air, and fire, which coax our bodily senses to explore. When embodied writing is attuned to the physical senses, it becomes not only a skill appropriate to research, but a path of transformation that nourishes an enlivened sense of presence in and of the world.
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Seeking to relay the living experience of the human body, embodied writing portrays experience from the point of view of the lived body, Leib rather than Körper in Edmund Husserl’s (1952/1989) sense. The researcher collects, analyzes, and reports findings, fully intending to invite readers to encounter the narrative accounts for themselves and from within their own bodies through a form of sympathetic resonance. Ultimately, as a research tool, the efficacy of embodied writing depends on its capacity to engender a quality of resonance between the written text and the senses of the readers that allows readers to more fully experience the phenomena described. The readers’ perceptual, visceral, sensorimotor, kinesthetic, and imaginal senses are invited to come alive to the words and images as though the experience were their own, akin to the way we might read fine poetry or fiction. Embodied writing tries to let the body speak.
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Embodied writing tries to make the experience “present” in the writer while writing and in the reader while reading. For this reason, I’m not so much going to tell you about embodied writing, but I will do it as I go along. Rather than pointing with words as though from a distance, I will write from this full-bodied perspective as best I can, even in the didactic sections to follow. I will “cut loose” especially in the last section, in which I reflect on what I’ve learned about embodying the present through embodied writing.

Click here to read more of this paper.

Can Social Consciousness Develop Through Transformations In Worldview?

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From Worldview Transformation and the Development of Social Consciousness by Sofia University’s Doctorate Program Chair, Marilyn Schlitz, as well as Cassandra Vieten & Elizabeth M. Miller.
Each person has his or her own personal story about the nature of reality. Genetic tendencies, religion, culture, and geographic region,together with all the experiences people have both internally and in relationship to their environments, give rise to their 
worldview, or their general way of viewing themselves and the world around them.
Worldview is one aspect of consciousness. Psychological, social and neurophysiological theories of development indicate that as we grow and interact with the world we learn to categorize, discriminate,and generalize about what we see and feel (Flavell, Miller and Miller,2002; Siegler and Alabali, 2005). A worldview combines beliefs,assumptions, attitudes, values, and ideas to form a comprehensive model of reality. Worldviews also encompass formulations and inter- pretations of past, present, and future.
In our worldviews, we construct complex conceptual frameworks to organize our beliefs about who we are and about the world we live in. Worldviews function in similar ways to the internal working models proposed by Bowlby (1969) and elaborated by Bretherton and Munholland (1999). These models arise from interactions with primary attachment figures, and ‘provide a framework for understanding new experiences and guiding social interaction’ (Shaver, Collins and Clark, 1996, p. 39). Worldview is a broader construct that is influenced by more than interactions with attachment figures, but similarly provides the holder a belief structure within which to organize perceptions and new experiences within the context of their social and physical environment.
Human perceptions are filtered by the ways people view the world. People’s worldviews therefore influence every aspect of how they understand and interact with the world around them. Worldviews profoundly impact individual and shared goals and desires, shaping perceptions, motivations and values both consciously and unconsciously. Worldviews inform human behaviour in relationships and choreograph individual and social reactions and actions every moment of the day.
In 1997, a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) initiated a series of studies focused on the process of worldview transformation. The goal has been to under-stand the process by which people experience fundamental shifts in perception that alter how they view and interact with themselves and the world around them. In particular, our team investigated factors that facilitate the kind of worldview transformations that result in increased social consciousness and prosocial behavior.
To read more of this research article, click here.

Should psychotherapy training include religion and spirituality?

By David Lukoff, Ph.D.

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In 1985, I proposed a new diagnostic category entitled Mystical Experience with Psychotic Features (MEPF) to identify intense spiritual experiences that present as psychotic-like episodes.  In 1989, Francis Lu, a psychiatrist on the faculty at UC Davis, and I began collaborating on a proposal for a new diagnostic category for the then-in-development DSM-IV, which we saw as the most effective way to increase the sensitivity of mental health professionals to spiritual crises.  The transpersonal movement supported this 4 year effort through publication of articles in JTP and presentations at ATP conferences to fine tune the proposal.  Ultimately in 1994, the proposal for a new diagnostic category was accepted: Religious or Spiritual Problem.  This is not listed as a mental disorder but a problem in living that requires some clinical attention.

Psychology and psychiatry have a long history of ignoring and pathologizing religion and spirituality.  This DSM category has served as a foot the door which has opened the mental health field to a broader consideration of spirituality in mental health.

Today, within mainstream psychological theory and research, we are seeing the continued exploration of transpersonal issues in the attention to “religious coping” and “spiritual struggles.”  Transpersonal psychology, starting with its founder Abraham Maslow’s focus on self-actualization and optimal functioning, has been the tip of the spear in this change.  The early transpersonal work on distinguishing a spiritual emergency from a psychotic disorder which led to a diagnostic category for spiritual problems has laid the groundwork for this new work on spiritual competencies which recognizes spirituality as a resource for wellness and recovery and the value of spiritually oriented interventions such as mindfulness practices.

I have been teaching about spiritual competencies in graduate courses in Sofia University’s PsyD and GPHD programs. Class activities include writing a spiritual autobiography, conducting a spiritual assessment with someone outside the class, keeping a gratitude journal for a week, and other exercises from the book.

(Below is an article written by David Lukoff, et. al:)

Competencies for Psychologists in the Domains of Religion and Spirituality

Religion and spirituality are important parts of the lives of most people in the United States. Gallup polls between 1992 and 2012 (Gallup, 2015) reveal that over the last two decades 79% to 88% of Americans have said that religion is “very important” or “fairly important” in their lives. A full 92% believe in God, and nearly 70% report being either “very religious” or “moderately religious” (Gallup, 2011, 2015).

A recent Pew Research Center (Lugo, 2012) survey found that even among those who report no specific religious affiliation, more than half self- identify as a religious or spiritual person. More than a third of those who are unaffiliated (37%) self-identify as “spiritual, but not religious,” and about 15% to 30% of individuals in the general population report being in this category (Lugo, 2012; Marler & Hadaway, 2002; Moore, 2003).

 

Religion and Spirituality and Psychological Health

Research has shown that for many people, spiritual and religious beliefs and practices (SRBPs; Saunders, Miller, & Bright, 2010) are intertwined with psychological and emotional well-being. Spirituality and religion substantially color the way people understand themselves and the world around them, including their values, morals, and behaviors, their stance or orientation toward other people, their feelings of happiness and safety, their capacities for forgiveness and gratitude, their level of social support and engagement, and how they interpret the meaning of events and situations, including their approach to illness and death in themselves and others (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003; Norenzayan, Dar-Nimrod, Hansen, & Proulx, 2009; Park, 2013; Schultz, Tallman, & Alt- maier, 2010; Tay, Li, Myers, & Diener, 2014; Vallurupalli et al., 2012).

Spiritual and religious beliefs and practices qualify as aspects of human diversity equivalent in importance to race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Based on the ethical codes that have guided our field for over a decade, psychologists should receive training in competencies related to religion and spirituality just as the field of psychology now requires for other forms of cultural competence.

For instance, according to the APA Ethics Code (American Psychological Association, 2003) psychologists should consider religious diversity as they do other forms of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation:

Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. (p. 1063)

Furthermore, the APA Guidelines on Multi- cultural Education, Training, Research, Prac- tice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists (American Psychological Association, 2003) identify religion and spirituality as important aspects of multiculturalism that should be included in cultural competency training, defining culture as “the embodiment of a world- view through learned and transmitted beliefs, values, and practices, including religious and spiritual traditions” (p. 8).

In 2007, APA adopted a comprehensive “Resolution on Religious, Religion-Based and/or Religion-Derived Prejudice,” condemning prejudice and discrimination against individuals or groups based on their SRBPs and resolving to include information on religious/spiritual prejudice and discrimination in multicultural and diversity training material and activities (American Psychological Association, 2007a).

Attention to spirituality and religion as components of multicultural diversity is inade quate, with most of the focus in training on ethnic and racial diversity (Frazier & Hansen, 2009). For example, Nagai (2008) found that clinicians’ self-ratings were much higher for ethnic/racial cultural competence compared to their ratings of spiritual competence.

 

Avoidance of Religion and Spirituality in Clinical Practice

A survey of more than 300 clinical psychologists on a mailing list of randomly selected APA members who had a doctorate in clinical psychology and were practicing clinicians found that these psychologists discuss religion and spirituality with only 30% of their clients, and fewer than half address clients’ SRBPs in any way during assessment or treatment planning (Hathaway et al., 2004).

Why is this the case? It does not appear to be because of lack of interest. Psychotherapists indicate an openness to engage the topic of religious and spiritual issues with clients (Brown, Elkonin, & Naicker, 2013; Knox, Cat- lin, Casper, & Schlosser, 2005) and a survey of college counselors revealed that more than 70% were open to in-session discussions of religious and spiritual issues (Weinstein, Parker, & Ar- cher, 2002). Moreover, clients report that they would like to discuss religious and spiritual matters in psychotherapy (Goedde, 2000; Post & Wade, 2009). Most clients want to be asked about their SRBPs (Blanton, 2005; Diallo, 2012; Knox et al., 2005; Oxhandler & Parga- ment, 2014; Post & Wade, 2009). For example, in a survey of clients (N 74) from nine different counseling centers, Rose, Westefeld, and Ansely (2001) found that 55% of clients wanted to discuss religious/spiritual concerns with their psychotherapist and 63% thought it was appropriate to do so.

Avoidance of religion and spirituality in clinical practice may instead be attributable to the fact that most psychologists receive little education or training in how to ethically and effectively attend to religious and spiritual domains in clinical practice, or guidance about the extent to and methods by which they should incorporate this dimension into their work.

To read more of this article, click here.